This year the Australian experts have doubled the recommended amount of exercise. The studies continue to show there is a link between sedentary behaviour and weight gain, type 2 diabetes, poor muscle tone, heart disease and dying earlier. The new guidelines are the first to address our love for lounging and our habit of sitting at work.
The advice suggests mixing a number of different activities into your daily routine instead of doing something structured like organised sport or going to the gym.
– Minimise the amount of time spent prolonged sitting. Break up long periods of sitting as much as possible.
– Ideally we should not be sitting for longer than 20-30mins at a time. In between we don’t have to do anything vigorous, simply standing and/or stretching can benefit. Stand while you are on the phone at work, drink more water, set a reminder to move.
– Be active on most, preferably on all days of the week.
– Do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days each week.
– Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (approx. 60 mins every day) or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity.
– Evidence shows switching from doing nothing to 30 minutes a day can cut the risk of heart disease by up to 40%.
– Moderate intensity physical activity is that which requires some effort, but you are still able to talk. Some studies suggest that vigorous activity is more effective in preventing disease. However, doing any activity is better than none.